Shelter

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2, ESV

When we think of shelter, many of us tend to lean toward protection and safety. Shelter is something that many of us value and that we all want to find.  We think of Shelter in times of storm and trouble; we think of shelter in times of tribulation.

When we think of trials and tribulation, storms and trouble, we tend to think about events that can tear apart our lives at the seams.  It doesn’t always have to be a literal storm we are facing; sometimes it may be the storms of life that are bringing us down.  It could be that diagnosis that we unexpectedly got from the doctor that has left us questioning; it may be that fire that took away all our possessions, or maybe even the traffic accident that nearly took our life from us, or the loss of a dear loved one and the uncertainty of where things will go from there.

Whatever the trial we face, God has promised us that the outcome will be under his control, all we must do is trust in Him completely.  Why do we find it difficult to trust in the Lord with our circumstances?  Why do we find difficulty in turning over things to God?  Why do we wait so late in our situation to trust in Him when He has promised us safety and shelter?

Look back at the verse I opened this with, “He who dwells in the shelter…”  We are protected when we spend our lives within the Shelter of God.  But what does this mean?  How do we dwell in that shelter?  We devote ourselves to His word and make it a vital part of our lives.  If we embrace his word and allow it to infiltrate our everyday lives we can see this played out each day.

This doesn’t mean that we will always stay clear of the storms, but it does mean that we will praise Him through the storms and that we will have shelter during the storm.  He is our ever-present shelter in the time of storm.  He is our protector, defender, savior and friend.  He is our help.  He is our Father, who loves us and wants nothing but the best for us.

Are you facing a storm today?  Seek Shelter from the Almighty and trust in His ways.  Remember that He controls the storm, He walks on the waves, and just the sound of His voice will quiet the storm and provide calm.

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” – Matthew 8:24-27, ESV

This man is Jesus, let Him calm your storm.

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Case of the Monday’s

You have probably heard it before, and truthfully, I can think of a number of times I’ve used the statement, “Looks like someone has a case of the Monday’s,” or “its Monday…”  This statement is usually delivered with a glum look and a less than positive attitude, or is made because of the foul mood that someone may be in.

This statement, likely made famous by the movie “Office Space” is something that many folks look to as a reason for their day not going as planned.  The truth about this statement is likely in that Monday tends to be a disappointing day, but I believe that it comes from an attitude that we choose rather than a disease or condition that many make it out to be.

Bear with me for a moment on this…

Monday, for many is when they go back to school or go back to work, and the outlook is bleak due to the anticipated long week ahead.  We naturally tend to look at life in a negative fashion at times, it just happens, especially when something is not fully to our liking.  This is the case for many when it comes to returning to work or school.  Think about it – there are many who do not enjoy their jobs, and because of that they dread the week ahead.  Many students may know of tests or other stressors that could come up during the week, and therefore do not want to experience the week ahead in the classroom.

Whatever the case may be, having a case of the Monday’s can be a difficult chapter in many of our lives.  I want to present a solution to each of us today…you may have a bleak outlook on life, you may not want to face the week, or weeks, ahead, but there is hope for each of us.

The solution? Take that Sunday feeling with you all week long!

Many of us are members at church, and how many times on a Sunday afternoon or evening do you hear or take part in a conversation about how great that service was?  Take it with you…if you do not attend church, I would encourage you to get into a body of believers and get active in the church.  That feeling after a great worship service can be just the ticket to curing your case of the Monday’s.

We as Christians are asked to take Christ with us wherever we go anyhow…we are to carry him to the hurting, the suffering, the hungry, the sick…”whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me!” (Matthew 25:40)

The feeling we get when we serve others is the same feeling that we can get in a good worship service…it is the same feeling we get from a great quiet time with our Savior…and it is something we can apply to our lives each day…and in doing so, cure a case of the Monday’s in our life, and possibly cure a case of the Monday’s for someone else along the way.

Today, help cure that Monday feeling by taking Christ with you everywhere you go!

Champion

With all this talk about Championships lately, I have had a lot on my mind regarding what it takes to be a champion.  When it comes to athletics, it takes a fair amount of training and dedication for an athlete to rise to championship caliber, and in many cases, a whole team of athletes working together to accomplish the task.

When you think of football, it takes 11 guys on each side of the ball working hard both on and off the field to win.  Other sports only require one athlete to push forward and excel above the rest to become a champion.  One of these is Boxing, which got me thinking of a song released a few years back by Carman called “The Champion”.  In this account, Carman pits Jesus against Satan in a boxing match to see who will win.  Just the sheer mood of the song is enough to get anyone pumped up about Christ, but the premise of the song is not farfetched.

Jesus has trained for the battle that is to come, and we as followers of Christ must also train.  We can train by putting on the full armor of God and by taking the Word of God to the streets each and every day.  The Bible is our training regiment, it contains our workouts, and prayer is our conversations with our Trainer.

It is like the movie “Rocky” in some ways, where we must put in the training that is sufficient for us to go out and win the biggest fight of our lives.  Scripture gives us insight into what this battle will be, see Ephesians 6:12 (ESV):

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We even see some foreshadowing in Revelation when we see talk of a great battle that will take place between good and evil.  We will face off one day in a great battle that we must be ready for…but the truth is, every day is a battle for each of us when we are following Christ.  We have to treasure the Word of God and keep it in our hearts so that we are never in battle without a weapon.  We have to be able to fend off the advances of our enemies, and the only way to do this is to train like the Champion! We must train like Christ, put on the armor of God, and become champions for the kingdom.

Be a champion today, humble yourself, train hard, and realize that our battle is won because we trust God to help lead us into battle.  Just as Joshua in the Battle of Jericho, our battle plans are laid out in a precise fashion, and we must be willing to execute them as the Israelites were.  If we are willing, walls will fall, and we will emerge victorious.